Staying safe on the road isn’t just critical for a driver’s well-being. It’s also crucial for other people on the road, as well as their employers. 

Unsafe actions can have far-reaching consequences, including physical harm and financial ramifications. Since that’s the case, doing everything possible to enhance safety is a must. Here are some essential safety tips for CDL drivers. 

Embrace Defensive Driving

Ideally, all truck drivers should adhere to the principles of defensive driving. Essentially, that involves remaining vigilant, looking for any potential hazard that may impact the driver or vehicle. Additionally, it means making choices based on safety first, even if it’s a minor inconvenience to do so. 

Along with maintaining safe driving distances, it could require speed reductions below the speed limit if the roadways are busy or the weather isn’t ideal. It could also involve waiting longer to pass slow-moving vehicles to ensure the conditions are best for such actions. 

Often, defensive driving requires a shift in mindset. However, it’s one worth making to ensure everyone is safe. 

Have Official Schedules for Maintenance and Inspections

Preventative maintenance and pre- and post-trip inspections are crucial parts of the safety equation. They ensure the trucks themselves are road-worthy, reducing the odds of accidents related to system malfunctions, part failures, and similar issues. 

While adhering to maintenance and inspection routines takes time, it works wonders when it comes to safety. Since that’s the case, it should always be a priority. 

Eliminate Potential Distractions

Distracted driving is often as hazardous as driving under the influence. As a result, drivers should go the extra mile to eliminate potential distractions that could pull their eyes and attention away from the road ahead. 

One excellent place to start is to silence all non-essential smartphone notifications. For example, text and social media messages shouldn’t be checked until the truck is off the road and parked, so it’s wise to turn those notifications off while in transit. 

Since eating while on the road usually means taking your eyes off of the road and a hand off of the wheel, it’s wise to avoid that, as well. The same can go for enjoying a beverage, particularly if you have to dig it out of a bag or cooler first. 

Make Breaks and Rest Priorities

Driving tired is incredibly dangerous, also potentially akin to driving under the influence. By taking breaks and resting appropriately, drivers can ensure they aren’t hindered on the road due to being tired. 

Along with following any break-related regulations, drivers should use their best judgment while on the road. If fatigue is harming their ability to focus and operate the truck safely, it’s better to pull off and rest than risk an accident. 

Ultimately, all of the essential safety tips for drivers above are must-dos. They ensure drivers can remain focused and agile on the road, allowing them to adapt to changing conditions with ease and avoid potentially catastrophic incidents. 

If you’d like to learn about more safety tips for CDL drivers, the staff at PTS® wants to hear from you. Contact us today. 

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